Veganuary in Hong Kong
Secondary CNET, Genevieve Simmons, gives us the low-down on being vegetarian/ vegan in Hong Kong.
Although traditional Hong Kong food can be fraught with meat, you’d be surprised at how easy it can be to find both delicious and protein-packed alternatives here!
Popular local food [read: dim sum] contains many vegetarian alternatives within the usual favorites, such as stuffing your bao or dumplings with steamed veggies instead of ground pork or seafood. My favorite food stall, Tin Tin Vegetarian (but you’ll have to look out for the characters 天天素食) at MTR locations all around HK has entirely vegetarian dishes starting from 5HKD, or less than 1 GBP. They have plenty of tempeh meats and sauteed tofu skins to choose from for your daily protein intake.
There are also plenty of restaurants that cater towards vegetarians, or you could treat yourself and have an entirely veggie meal prepared by monks at the Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island!
If you want to cook on your own, though, local wet markets will provide huge bags of fresh greens for roughly 12HKD (around 1.20 GBP) a pop - sometimes I have more leafy vegetables than I know what to do with! It's times like those I pull out my bamboo steamer [free off AsiaXpat] and pop them in over a pot of boiling water, then make some peanut sauce with rice vinegar and soy sauce to throw over them.
You have so many types of cuisine here in the city that I urge you to try shopping in new neighborhoods; you can get natto (fermented soybeans) from a Japanese supermarket (Aeon is a popular one, with multiple locations), or chickpea flour and other delicious grains from smaller stores that sell products from India.
And if you want to take your earth- and animal-loving a step further and cut dairy out completely, I recommend introducing coconut milk into your life! I've been making chia seed smoothies with frozen bananas, adding in pumpkin or another fruit for variation, and they're my go-to treat instead of ice cream.
There's an incredible store in Sai Ying Pun called Zero Waste that I urge everyone to go to - you bring your own containers or use recycled ones there, and pay by weight (at fair prices) for yummy bulk items like cocoa nibs and whole wheat flour that I haven't been able to find as easily in regular supermarkets.
No matter if you stick to instant noodles or want to try a new quiche (I recommend making them muffin-sized so that they cook faster in your limited-space oven) every weekend, being vegetarian in HK is fun, easy, and you’ll definitely discover some new favorite foods along the way!